Here's How You Can Identify the FISH at the Poker Table
To all those who are not familiar with the term, fish is a player who knows how to play poker but believes that poker is more about luck than skills. They are the kind of players who will go all in just because they have pocket threes. It is important to know how to spot on of these players at the table because you can easily exploit their weaknesses as compared to your other opponents. Here are a few ways of spotting who the fish is at your table.
Forgets Rules – The learning curve of Poker as a game is rather steep compared to other games. You need to understand the rules, the hierarchy of hands, strategies and tells and tendencies of your opponents. It is therefore natural for a newbie to forget something or the other and give away important information while playing. If you are observant enough, you can take advantage of that in the later rounds.
Plays too many hands – You lose all hands you don’t play. Therefore, I must play as many hands as possible to maximize my win percentage. That’s the ideology a fish plays with. He doesn’t know when to hold and when to fold. If you see a player playing too many hands too confidently, he is most probably a fish. You can take advantage of this by instigating him into playing hands that you want him to play and win big.
Shows too much emotion – Since a fish plays too many hands, he is bound to lose many hands. Sometimes he might get lucky and win a couple of hands too. In either of the situations, a fish will show a lot of emotion. Too much happiness on winning small pots or too much anguish on losing a couple of rounds back-on-back are classic fish tendencies. They also lack the ability to keep calm if they are bluffing and exhibit some very obvious tells. Keep an eye out for them and make the most out of it.
Tilts easily – As Poker players, we all know the importance of mental fortitude in the game. A fish does not have the mental strength to withstand frequent losses. He tilts easily and starts making mistakes. Changes in tone of voice, sitting postures, betting frequencies, body language are some of the classic fish tendencies. The best to tackle players in such situations is check-raise more often with a top pair or better cards as they are playing more aggressive than usual.
Now that you have identified the fish at the table, what do you do?
Don’t bluff them. A fish will call you for almost anything. And if they call your bluff, you stand to lose a lot. If you want to take their money, go in the opposite direction. Befriend them. Don’t make them feel bad about all the money they have lost. You want to come back to your poker table in the future too, right?
So tell them you make them feel welcomed. Don’t scare them off.
However, you need to careful. Even a fish tends to make the right bet once in a while. If you lose to a player who is a fish on the river, not only will you lose your money, you will also have to face ridicule at the hands of your other poker buddies.
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